Many South Africans are beginning to question the character of Speaker of National Assembly, Baleka Mbete and her commitment to doing her job. Some are saying she is protecting President Zuma and the African National Congress (ANC)

The speaker is opposing an application by the United Democratic Movement (UDM)

She is of the view that a section in the Constitution which deals with voting in the motion of no confidence in the president does not specify which method should be adopted by the National Assembly.

Opposition parties said there had been reports of intimidation of MPs on the planned vote‚ hence its request for a secret ballot.

The Speaker refused‚ prompting the UDM to approach the Constitutional Court.

The party wants the court to declare that section 102 of the Constitution requires that motions of no confidence must be decided by secret ballot.

The section states that that if the National Assembly‚ by “a vote” supported by a majority of its members‚ passes a motion of no confidence in the President‚ the President and the other members of the Cabinet must resign.

UDM said that the Constitutional Court had exclusive jurisdiction to decide that Parliament had failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation.

UDM also said the only reason why there was a secret ballot was because of the need to protect the vote‚ in this case the MPs.

The constitution provides for a secret ballot when a president is elected by Parliament.

The court reserved judgment.